An easy keto taco casserole recipe that takes less than 30 minutes to cook, plus we show you the tips and tricks whether you want to cook with beef OR lighten it up a bit and make a turkey taco casserole. Just cook the meat, combine, and bake!
You'll love this taco casserole keto recipe, that's also perfect for eating low carb, gluten-free, and sugar-free.
Keto Taco Casserole
Keto taco casserole is a fantastic variation to standard tacos that includes lots of cheese, tons of flavor, and is so simple to make! I'm going to even admit, I might even prefer this taco casserole over tacos. So much gooey cheesy flavor, it's just hard to beat.
No need to wait until Taco Tuesday, you love this low carb casserole every day of the week. This is a keto taco casserole with cottage cheese, that will turn cottage cheese haters into lovers! Seriously! Just read the reviews! This honestly makes the BEST keto Mexican casserole, it's super hearty and filling. You'll just need a small portion.
And if you're looking for even more keto Mexican recipes, be sure to check out our green chili casserole with chicken, keto taco salad, or fajita chicken bake.
Why You'll Love This Keto Mexican Casserole
- It's so tasty you won't even miss the taco shells
- The keto Mexican casserole cooks in just 30 minutes!
- It only takes 5 simple ingredients, plus any garnishes you want to add
- You can use either ground beef or make a turkey taco casserole
- It's easy to adapt to a casserole dish, individual casseroles, or make as a one pan skillet meal
- A secret ingredient gives it a hearty and rich flavor
- This is a keto taco casserole with no cauliflower. Many recipes add cauliflower, ours does not.
One of the things we LOVE about this keto Mexican casserole is that it only takes 5 ingredients!
- Ground beef (we used 80% lean/20% fat) - ground turkey works well too! We used Butcher Box
- Cottage cheese- use regular, not low fat
- Chunky salsa
- Keto taco seasoning - we make our own no-carb seasoning since most store brands add sugar
- Cheddar cheese, shredded - use medium, sharp, or mix the cheese half and half with Monterey Jack. Shredding fresh cheese works better than pre-shredded cheese.
Optional toppings- lettuce, tomatoes, olives, avocado, salsa, sour cream, cilantro, or chives.
The exact ingredient quantities are at the bottom of the post in the recipe card you can print off.
We get an every other month grass-fed meat delivery from Butcher Box, here’s the Butcher Box site to check out what they’re all about. You get $30 off your first box with our link.
You might be surprised to see cottage cheese on the ingredient list but it's actually one of my cooking secret weapons that add tons of cheesy flavor but help the dish to hold it's shaping. If you're following a keto diet you need to make sure you're using the full fat cottage cheese and not low fat. The low-fat cheese is higher in carbs than the regular cottage cheese.
Is Cottage Cheese Keto?
Some people have wondered if cottage cheese is keto, and YES, it can be a part of a keto diet as long as you're sticking to low carb cottage cheese brands. Be sure to check various brand labels and be using full-fat cottage cheese too. In general, cheaper brands often add fillers but it also increases the carb count.
The Trader Joes brand we used has 6 carbs per cup and 12 carbs for the whole container, so with this recipe being 8 servings, the cottage cheese counts for 1.5 of the net carb per serving.
Making Keto Mexican Casserole
You'll be so surprised that you can put this low carb taco casserole recipe together and bake it in only 20 minutes! You'll be browning the meat, mixing the special sauce, combining it with the meat, and baking until heated through.
Be sure to drain the cottage cheese, some brands seem to add more liquid to the container than others and too much liquid might make a runny casserole!
Preheat the oven to 375.
Brown the Meat
While it's heating get started on cooking your ground beef (or ground turkey) on medium heat on the stovetop. This should take about 7-8 minutes.
Tip: If you have a cast-iron skillet, this becomes a one-dish keto friendly taco casserole since you can bake in it too!
While the meat is cooking, slice and dice any optional taco toppings you want to add after the keto Mexican casserole is done cooking.
Drain the grease well.
In a medium-sized bowl combine the cottage cheese, ¾ cup of the shredded cheese, the chunky salsa, and the taco seasoning. Make sure you're using a sugar-free taco seasoning and sugar-free salsa to keep the taco casserole keto-friendly.
Mix the meat with the cottage cheese and salsa mixture. If you're using a cast-iron skillet you can carefully just add it to the skillet and mix it with the meat.
If you did not use an oven-safe skillet, spoon the casserole mixture into a small baking dish. Use one that's narrow and an oval or rectangle, not an 8x8 pan.
Top with 1+ cup of shredded cheddar cheese or a blend or cheddar and Monterey Jack.
Bake for 20 minutes on the middle rack until the casserole is heated through and the cheese is bubbling. If you're using individual-sized ramekins as we did with the turkey taco casserole, cut the baking time down to 15 minutes.
Serve immediately and enjoy!
You can also serve this recipe with all of your favorite taco toppings like chopped lettuce, tomatoes, olives, jalapenos, avocado, sour cream, cilantro or salsa.
Can I Make Taco Casserole with Ground Turkey?
Whether you want to make this easy keto taco casserole recipe with ground beef or turkey, or as one whole casserole or by making individual serving mini casseroles, we include tips and recipe adaptions too.
If you're looking for a keto ground turkey casserole, this is seriously a winner!
Turkey Taco Casserole Tips
- Using regular ground turkey (and NOT super lean), this was actually very good and we would definitely make it again! Ground turkey doesn't have as much flavor as ground beef (in my opinion), so I'd suggest either adding:
- Add extra seasoning like an extra teaspoon of taco seasoning OR ¼ tsp+ of garlic salt
- You can also keep the casserole itself on the mild side and add extra toppings or even hot sauce to kick up the heat.
- Since this recipe calls for 2 lbs of ground meat and I only had 1 lb on hand, I decided to half the recipe ingredients and make individual size portions in ramekins. They took 5 minutes LESS to cook, otherwise, the recipe instructions are the same.
- You can use either ground beef or turkey, but don't forget to add extra seasoning like garlic salt or taco seasoning if you're making a turkey taco casserole since it has a milder taste
- Use chunky salsa instead of a liquidy salsa to prevent the keto Mexican taco casserole from being runny.
- Cook everything in a large skillet like a cast-iron skillet to make this a one-dish meal, or use any skillet you have and then transfer the casserole to a baking dish.
- If you're making individual keto taco casserole in ramekins, bake the recipe for 15 minutes instead of 20.
- Shred your own cheese from a block since pre-shredded cheese adds starch to keep it from clumping, which also increases the carbs.
- Use cheddar cheese, or go half and half with Monterey Jack for variety.
- Be sure to check the label on the cottage cheese! Buy a brand with low net carbs, ours had 5 net carbs per ½ cup serving.
- Cut back on either the cheese or cottage cheese if preferred.
More Keto Mexican Recipes
If you're looking for more keto recipes that are super easy like more Mexican-inspired low carb casseroles, then you'll want to check out these recipes too!
- Low Carb Chicken Green Chili Casserole
- Chicken Fajita Bake
- Green Chicken Enchilada Bake
- Baked Salsa Chicken
- Crockpot taco soup
- Taco salad (keto low carb)
Please leave a review if you make our taco casserole keto recipe! We love feedback from readers, plus it helps others too.
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I haven't seen a light response to the serving size. I am assuming the person that said 1 cup was closest to accurate? I would like to know for sure for weight loss purposes. thank you. p.s. the casserole is delish, we don't like cottage cheese, but you don't taste it at all, big plus for me. 🙂
Karen Murphy says
The keto taco casserole was absolutely delicious! This is the second recipe I’ve made of yours and both have been excellent!
Thank you so much, Karen! Jen
I don’t see any info about freezing this… Does it hold up well if I freeze after baking it?
Dawn Hammitt says
made this but added onions, cabbage, zucchini, cauliflower rice, 2 eggs with the cheese and used half ricotta and half cottage cheese. Turned out more like a mexican lasagna. Yum. I cooked the onions, cabbage and zucchini with the meat first and then layered 1/2 meat vege mixture, cauliflower rice (precooked), 1 can tomato paste, the cheese egg mixture, and then the other 1/2 of the meat vege. I topped with cheddar cheese and baked in 9 x 13 pan for 25 mins. I also used chili powder between the layers and added powdered garlic in the cheese mixture. YUM. and it made a lot. Great for leftovers
That sounds like an amazing variation, Dawn! Thank you for sharing!
Do you have the nutrition facts for using ground Turkey with this? Also, what is the serving size? How many prepared servings is this?
Do I cook it before I'd freeze it? I saw this on your blog post about freezer meals, but it says nothing about freezing it here.
This looks delicious! It seems like eight net carbs seems a lot for one serving… Can you tell me what the serving sizes? One cup? Half a cup? Thank you!
Hi Lisa, In the nutrition information it states that it serves 6. Serving size will depend on what size casserole dish/skillet you use.
Amazing - just added onions in mix and chopped green onions on top! Yum !!!
Those sound like delicious add-ons to the taco casserole!
Is the serving size 1 cup?
I made this tonight. It tastes AMAZING, but it’s soupy, should I have cooked it longer?
Hi Amanda! Thanks for the feeback on the keto taco casserole! If it was soupy, the extra liquid is either coming from the brand of salsa used or the cottage cheese. I'd recommend using a chunky salsa that doesn't have much liquid in it, draining the cottage cheese, and making sure the ground beef is well drained. All 3 of those can contribute to the casserole having extra liquid on the bottom. It should thicken upon serving too! Jen
I would like to try your recipe but we don’t like cottage cheese. Is there anything else I can use?
Hi Cindy! I'm going to admit I'm not a cold cottage cheese fan at all but cooked into a recipe is totally different and the cream cheese gives so much flavor and creaminess. You could also substitute ricotta or you could try a mixture of sour cream with some cream cheese, but maybe use less than the cottage cheese. Maybe there's even a low carb condensed cream soup that would work also? Jen
Kelly M Easterbrook says
I made this Keto Cheeseburger casserole tonight and it turned out fabulous! I also added hot salsa to it and some fresh cilantro. We cooked the casserole for 20 minutes as your recipe states, but noticed that you say it cooks for 30-35 minutes several times above. I am sure we will be making this again as it was so easy and made mostly with ingredients I usually have around the house.
Thanks Kelly, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Cook time is 20 minutes, total prep + cook time is 30-35. I'lll make sure that's better clarified in the post. Thank you! Jen